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Back-to-School Series: Fall Looks Inspired by Blake Lively/Serena van der Woodsen

Fri, 12/17/2010 - 2:23PM by collegeinstyle 0 Comments -

*Ah I found this post saved in my drafts. I meant to publish it during back-to-school season but somehow never got around to it. So rather than let it go to waste, I'll just post it here. The outfits are definitely wearable for spring and even for winter if you live somewhere warm :)

If I were to name the perfect girl, I would name Serena van der Woosen without hesitation. Even though she's a fictional character, she epitomizes perfection. Beautiful. Kind. Polished. Smart. Even her name exudes glamor (who wouldn't want the name Serena van der Woodsen?).

In the TV series, Serena is played by leggy blonde bombshell Blake Lively. Now, I think Blake is by far one of the most beautiful actresses in the industry. Not only is she gorgeous, she also seems like a genuine person. Friendly, bubbly - and unlike her younger castmate Taylor Momsen - she actually seems like a decent role model.

I admit, usually I dislike super pretty people because I'm so jealous of them. Like Emma Watson (umm she gets Harry Potter, Burberry ads, and Brown University) and AnnaLynne McCord (who is gorgeous and dating Kellan Lutz from the Twilight series). However, Blake Lively is someone I can't even not like because she's just that perfect.

In an interview, Blake admitted that her real-life wardrobe much resembles her character's wardrobe in the show. I think I can safely say on behalf of 99% of girls that we would all die for Serena's clothes. But unfortunately, not all of us have moms who are Upper East Side social climbers and stepbrothers who own large portions of New York real estate. Below are some fall back-to-school looks inspired by Serena that won't put a hole in your wallet.

Rain, Rain Go Away

blake lively serena van der woodsen 1


Autumn is to me like a frenemy: I can't decide whether I like it or not. On one hand, it gives me an excuse to break out those bronzed riding boots, don on chic scarves, and sip apple cider at an outdoor cafe. On the other hand, it's means unpredictable weather, piles of homework, and the impending arrival of winter.

In Chicago, fall is rainy season. Days are frequently gloomy and wet. But just because the sky is gray doesn't mean your mood has to be. In this bright little outfit, all eyes will be on you as you prance through the rain.

First, the citrus floral skirt captures the essence of leaves on the forest floor of a sunny October day. The bright turquoise tank adds a pop of color while the open navy cardigan makes the outfit more fall-appropriate. Since there's already plenty of color in the outfit, choose neutral accessories: nude bag and pumps are perfect. Contrast the nude pieces with a dark bangle adorned with metal studs to add some edge to the feminine outfit.

Finally, an umbrella is essential to keeping your hair mess-free and your outfit polished. Opt for a deep, clear one as opposed to the usual flat, colored ones that people carry. The deep cap offers more protection from the wind and rain while the clear material allows you to see and be seen.

Winter Lace

blake lively serena van der woodsen 2


This outfit is targeted towards those late fall days when it almost feels like winter. First, knee-high boots are hot this fall and has been for the past few years. But rather than wearing these lovely gray suede ones bare-thighed or with tights, pair them with some lacy tights. It keeps the look cold-weather appropriate yet adds some sexiness to the otherwise conservative outfit.

In the picture, Blake is wearing dark wool shorts. However, I chose these lacy print ones to add some more girliness to the whole look. Same with the blazer - I opted for a fitted blazer rather than a woolen boyfriend blazer like the one seen on Blake, which is just a touch too masculine for my taste.

Finally, allow a neutral feminine tank to peak out from underneath the blazer and keep your neck warm with an infinity scarf. A dark blue or turquoise one works great with the maroon tights. Finish off the outfit with a studded messenger bag and you're good to go!

Street Chic


blake lively serena van der woodsen 3

This outfit is perfect for running errands or on any other cool autumn day when you will be doing lots of walking. Plus, it's composed of staples that are incredibly versatile and work for many other outfits. What you need are a simple white tank, dark pencil jeans that aren't too skinny, military boots, a brown woolen scarf, and a fitted cargo jacket.

This look epitomizes effortlessness yet is still stylish at the same time. While I would usually recommend accessorizing with something bright to add a pop of color, I think keeping everything neutral works in this case because the pieces are all of varying hues - blacks, whites, greens, browns. Therefore keep things simple with a roomy brown bag.

This comfortable outfit is just an invitation to go out and get moving. I think it's perfect for exploring a new neighborhood in your college town, volunteering at a soup kitchen or animal shelter, or helping your club pass out fliers on the street.

Touch of Gold


blake lively serena van der woodsen 4


This outfit is the perfect fall date-look (sorry Penn Badgley, had to cut you out to make room for the pieces). Imagine yourself taking a walk on a beautiful fall day with a boy-toy on your arm.

To recreate this outfit, pair a striped beige tank (which most college gals already own) with a gold sequined mini (a wardrobe staple as it can be toned down for a day look like this and is perfect for a night out). Throw on a lazy boyfriend blazer - preferably acid-washed rather than something too dark as the whole look is supposed to be very relaxed.

Since you've already got the "glam" in the outfit with the sequined mini, keep everything else simple. Neutral flip-flops, a chestnut tote, and a brown floral bangle adds the perfect touch. Now all you need is that cute boy on your arms (sorry, this one I can't help with!).

Attention Getter


blake lively serena van der woodsen 5


Have you ever felt, well, invisible? Like cabs aren't stopping for you, or nobody seems to hold the door?

Well, this outfit will solve your problem. In the picture, Blake is clearly hailing a cab - and which cabbie can miss her? To recreate this outfit, the most important thing you need is color. I opted for a bright yellow cardigan rather than a cropped vest like Blake's to make the look more wearable (do a cropped vest wrong and you'll like like a stripper, and that's not the type of attention you want). To prevent the cardi from looking bulky but also to prevent too much cleavage from showing, wear a bralet in a nude shade - bralets are super versatile and can fix many wardrobe problems.

Choose a pair of high-waisted shorts to complement the cropped cardi. Opt for a pair of neutral school-girl loafers (you don't want too much color) to keep the look school-appropriate. Finally, an azure tote is a great complement to yellow. If you can't find a bag of this shade, a bright green one would look equally good.

Finally, don't forget your notebooks! You're guaranteed to be the best-dressed chick in class.


Fall 2010 Style: Inspired by Juicy Couture

Sun, 09/05/2010 - 7:41PM by collegeinstyle 0 Comments -

Juicy Couture is one of my favorite brands. To me, it epitomizes a fashionable college girl who is preppy with a bit of glam. If you're unfamiliar with the brand, you might think that Juicy is nothing more than velour sweats and blinged-out terry handbags. However, Juicy is so much more than that. They offer a whole line of ready-to-wear clothing, from coats to jeans to shoes.

Unfortunately, Juicy's price range can be a bit high for the average college girl working to pay off her tuition loans. So below are some Juicy Couture-inspired fall looks recreated with pieces that are much more budget-friendly.

Pretty in Plaid

Fall Look 1


This outfit represents the ultimate preppy yet sophisticated college girl. I'm personally a huge fan of the prep-school look (especially on boys - Lacoste polo + khaki shorts + Sperry boatshoes = instant love), but it's not middle school anymore and preppy no longer means mini-skirt, pink polo, and pearls pocketed from your mother's jewelry collection. This sophisticated-preppy look is a much more grown-up take on old-school prep yet youthful at the same time. Plus, it's absolutely perfect for fall days while walking around an ivy-covered campus.

The building blocks of this outfit is a classic plaid mini-skirt (in flannel or wool, preferably dark-green-and-navy checkered or in a color combination like the one in the above outfit) and a trusty heather-gray long-sleeve shirt.

Next, you need a good pair of riding boots. Look for one with little to no heel and hits just below the knees. A dark hue like black or gunmetal works best for this outfit.

Accessorize with a square scarf that can be draped triangle-style across your neck. You can either go matchy-matchy with the skirt as in the original look by Juicy Couture or you can put a twist on it and wear a scarf of a contrasting pattern. Make sure the scarf is of neutral colors though as you can't wear too much color with plaid. Finally, throw on a pair of semi-sheer black tights if it's cold out or feel free to go sans-tights; either way works great with this outfit.


Rocker Ski Bunny

fall look 2


This look is all about contrast: you've got the feminine pink top against edgy riding boots, snowy fur jacket against jersey shorts. It's a very bold and high-fashion look that's perfect for a girl wanting to experiment with something new. Plus, the boots and jacket makes the shorts weather-appropriate for even late fall, and that's something shorts-lovers (like me) can all rejoice over!

Start with an oversized baby pink v-neck that can be tucked into shorts. If your budget allows, go for a silk one for some added luxe. Next, a pair of gunmetal shorts is a great complement to the pink top. Look for a simple, trouser-style one with metal detailing, which is a huge trend for fall and adds some rocker-chic to the overall feel.

The real "rocker" part of this outfit comes from the boots. I used the same boots here for this outfit as the preppy outfit, which just shows how versatile a simple pair of black riding boots can be. A brown or gray pair would also work here, although make sure to get flat ones. The wrong pair of heeled boots can easily make this outfit look trashy.

Last but most importantly is a white or creamy-beige fur jacket. Of course, if real fur is out of your budget or if you just don't feel comfortable wearing an animal, faux fur works just as well. Just make sure to invest time in looking for a good one as faux fur can sometimes look very cheap. This jacket from Lipsy is both affordable and adorable; it will keep you warm during the late autumn months and give you a cute ski-bunny look.


Sophisticated Perfection

fall look 3


This outfit strikes me as the perfect "meet-his-parents" look. After all, who wouldn't want a daughter-in-law who is classy, sophisticated, and fashionable? It's also perfect for wearing to class or for a chat with your professor as it's professional yet very wearable.

To recreate this outfit, start off with a silky floral tank in muted colors and skinny black pants. The pants can even be denim but steer away from leggings unless your top covers your behind (leggings as pants do not bode well with professors or boyfriend's parents). Add some studded flats for a look that is polished and chic.

With those three items, you've already got a look that stands on its own. Remember to look for a tank that's not too revealing. A tie-neck piece like the one above is perfect because it doesn't bare any cleavage yet is still sexy and feminine by accentuating your bare shoulders.

Finally, if it's chilly out, throw on a cropped leather jacket in cargo green, gray, or a color that complements the color of your top. Don't go for all-black as that may look too strong against the black pants.


Outfits Under $100: ASOS

Fri, 08/13/2010 - 7:22PM by collegeinstyle 0 Comments -

ASOS - which stands for "As Seen On Screen" - is one of my favorite online stores. This online Europe-based store carries everything from Alexander McQueen to Betsey Johnson to their very own reasonably priced line.

The clothing selection is incredible (think Forever21, but much more organized), there's always tons of stuff on sale, and they provide videos of models wearing each piece of clothing, allowing shoppers to see exactly how a piece looks and flows.

Plus, they've recently started offering free shipping and returns to the U.S., so now is the perfect time to check out this brand!

Below are some example looks, all for under $100!

Subtle Seduction


Subtle Seduction

Yeah, I Know Van Gogh

Work of Van Gogh

Second Data? Of Course!


Second Date? Of course!


Outfits Under $100: Abercrombie

Sat, 08/07/2010 - 9:13PM by collegeinstyle 0 Comments -

Alright, you're probably like, "Seriously . . . Abercrombie?" Okay, I admit that the company has its flaws -- oversexualized models, overly branded name, lawsuits for being racist -- but honestly, at the end of the day, I love some of my A&F pieces.

As long as you look past the tight-fitting tees with "ABERCROMBIE & FITCH" or "Blondes Really DO Have More Fun" printed in bold across the chest, they actually have some cute stuff.

For one thing, I absolutely adore their shorts. I'm not sure why, but their shorts fit me better than anything, designer brands included. I pretty much live in them over the summer. I can always find a pair of denims cutoffs that are the perfect length, wash, and make my butt look good. And with just a little moose logo and a faded label on the back, the branding's not overwhelming.

Plus, I think their shorts are super comfy, and they always hold up really well summer after summer (and can oftentimes be found on sale for under $30). I'm also a huge fan of their sundresses; they're super flirty and cute. Oh, and I love their tank tops.

Recently, A&F has started going for more of a high-fashion look, think more NYC than Cali. They've released several lines of dark-washed skinny jeans and sequined blazers (I have a sequined cardi that's my go-to piece for going out) as opposed to their typical light-wash ripped flare denims. Nevertheless, Abercrombie's overall look is still very casual and beachy, which are perfect for summer.

Below are three outfits for those beautiful summer days created from Abercrombie* pieces, and best of all, all three outfits cost less than $100!

*Note some pieces are from Abercrombie Kids rather than Abercrombie and Fitch. An x-large in Abercrombie Kids is roughly equivalent to an x-small or small in A&F.

Day in the Park

abercrombie set 1

Total Cost: $68

Beach Babe

abercrombie set 2
Total Cost:$64

Hittin' Up Rodeo Drive
abercrombie set 3
Total Cost: $85


Runway Under $100: Milly's Fall 2010 Ready-to-Wear Collection

Wed, 08/04/2010 - 5:46PM by collegeinstyle 0 Comments -
Milly Fall/Winter 2010


One of my favorite runway shows of this fall was Milly's ready-to-wear collection. Designer Michelle Smith - known for her classic silhouettes and feminine pieces - did not disappoint with her new line.Milly's fall 2010 RTW featured preppy crisp-cut blazers, blouse-and-miniskirt combos, and what I was most impressed by - patterned tights.

I've never personally mastered the tights-with-heels look, but Smith managed to do it so well. Even in out-of-the-ordinary fluorescent blue tights or splattered polka-dot print ones, the models still managed to look so classic.

Here is my guide for recreating some of Milly's signature fall looks - all with pieces under $100!


Look #1: Asymmetrical Dress & Tights

milly look 3

As much as I love these polka-dot tights, I don't think they're all that wearable unless you're railthin, 5'8 or above, and have very fair skin. Nevertheless, the overall look can still be very wearable.

Pair a slim-fitting black asymmetrical dress with a pair of sheer black tights - black ones are much more flattering than patterned tights.I opted for a pair of more dramatic heels than the ones in Milly's collection because the dress is more subdued (I could not for the life of me find a black and gold-printed dress like this Milly piece!). So I chose gold nail polish instead.

Finish off the look with a stylish black beret, a base piece featured in many of Milly's looks for this season. Straighten your hair or wear it in a sleek side ponytail for a sophisticated Parisian look.


Look #2: Preppy Perfection


milly look 2


This is probably my favorite look from Milly's fall collection - it's so classic yet fashion forward at the same time. Plus, it's so wearable and perfect for fall. White tights is another one of those things that look good on really slender people, but hell, I'm willing to lose weight just for the sake of pulling off this look!

To recreate this outfit, start with a simple cream blouse in silk or chiffon. And the key word here is simple: nothing frilly, low-cut, or oversized (since it needs to be tucked into a skirt). Next, add a navy tweed mini-skirt and tuck the blouse underneath. Now, a good tweed mini can be hard to find. Look for a piece that's not too fuzzy, rides at the waist, hits slightly above mid-thigh, and is not too grandmother-ish (I know, that's a lot of requirements, but a good tweed skirt is an investment piece). Check out your local vintage store if you're having trouble finding one.

Next up is a classic, crisp blazer. A navy one with simple white lining works wonderfully with this look, whether collar or collarless. But if it does have a collar, make sure that it's angular and not rounded. Rounded collars would not create the same chic effect as collarless/square collared ones. Now comes the shoes, which could be anything from black strappy sandals to dark flats.

Finally, the right accessories are what makes this look. A pair of blue leather gloves add an eye-catching pop of color to the toned-down outfit and will keep your hands toasty in the late autumn, as will a chic beret. As in the previous outfit, style your hair in a sleek ponytail or straighten it.


Look #3: Blouse and Mini
milly look 1

This look again has the polka dot tights, and they're even harder to pull off than the patterned tights in Look #1 since these are primarily white. Nevertheless, I adore this look. The flimsy blouse looks so soft and the look is perfect for the workplace.

The base to this outfit is a flutter-sleeve cream blouse in a flowly fabric and a black, high-waisted mini. Follow up with either a black belt or as in the example outfit, the tie-bottom blouse can create the illusion of a belt. Follow up with printed tights - the ASOS ones in the center are more whimsical while the MetroPark USA ones on the left are more work-appropriate.

Since the whole outfit is pretty subdued, play it up with a pair of sky-high black pumps and a fun, chic headband.


What to you think of Milly's Fall RTW collection? Would you try any of these looks?

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